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ANSWER TO THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
BY W. W. WOODWARD, PHILADELPHIA,
FOR PUBLISHING BY SUBSCRIPTION,
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Scott's Remarks
“ The Refutation of Calvinism,
BY GEORGE TOMLINE, D.D.
LORD BISHOP OF LINCOLN."
THE writings of this eminent divine are held in the highest estimation by the pious of various denominations. He is acknowledged to be one of the best advocates for evangelical truth, which the present age has produced. His commentary on the scriptures has passed through three large editions in this country and a fourth, larger than either of the former is now preparing for press by W. W. W. in 3 vols. quarto, 7 dollars per volume, without any marginal references—the notes following immediately after the text.
The work now proposed for publication is a most able and elaborate defence of those doctrines which are commonly called evangelical, and which are by no means peculiar to the Calvinists. The bishop of Lincoln, published what he was pleased to call “ a Refutation of Calvinism,” under which proscribed and odious name," says the Christian Observer, "he has attacked some of the fundamental points of that faith, “ which was once delivered to the saints."
“In this work of the Bishop," continues the Christian Observer," he has greatly mistaken and misrepresented the sentiments and the persons he undertook to refute, and in many
important points has maintained doctrines contrary to the declarations of scripture.”
Dr. Scott, in his remarks upon this publication of the Bishop of Lincoln, most ably defends that system of religion, which a great body of christians supposed to be contained in the scriptures, from the. uncandid and illiberal attacks of its enemies, and obviates the unfounded objections which are so often brought up against it. The reviewers in the Christian Observer, after occupying about sixty pages of their miscellany in commenting on the excellencies of Dr. Scott's “remarks, conclude their review with the following passage. “We cannot, however, conclude this long extended article, without recommending the study of Dr. Scott's laborious work to such of our readers as feel interested in these discussions. It will amply repay those who are willing to undertake and patiently to pursue its perusal. If it does not afford, what cannot be expected from any human performance, a satisfactory solution of the difficulties which must ever attend some of the subjects of which it treats, it will be found to contain a large and valuable mass of observations on other most important theological topics; and will, at least, leave on the mind of every unpreju. diced reader a strong impression of the extensive scriptural knowledge, the controversial ability, and what is far more estimable than any other qualities and attainments, the christian moderation and charity, and the mature and vigorous pikty of its author.”
The work shall be comprised in two large octavo volumes answering as a sixth and seventh volume to his Miscellaneous works, published by W. W. Woodward; or will be sold separate in two volumes. It shall be printed on good paper with a fair type, and shall be delivered to subscribers for iwo dollars anch fifty cents per volume, bound, and two dollars and twenty-five cents in boards, payable on delivery of each volume.
Those who interest themselves in the work and procure five subscribers, they becoming responsible for their subscriptions, shall receive every sixth copy for their trouble.
The work shall be put io press as soon as a number of subscribers shall have been procured sufficient to warrant the undertaking, Persons holding subscription papers are requested to return them by the
first Fanuary next, to W.W. Woodward, Bookseller, Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, August 21, 1815.
EXPLAINED AND DEFENDED.
Quest. LXV. What special benefits do the members of the
invisible church enjoy by Christ? Answ. The members of the invisible church, by Christ, enjoy
union and communion with him in grace and glory. Quest. LXVI. What is that union which the elect have with
Answ. The union which the elect have with Christ, is the
work of God's grace, whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably joined to Christ, as their head and husband, which is done in their effectual calling.
TE have, in the foregoing part of this work, considered
man as made at that state, plunged into those depths of sin and misery, which would have rendered his state altogether desperate, without the interposition of a Mediator; whose designation to this work, his fitness for, and faithful discharge thereof, have been particularly considered in several foregoing answers, wherein we have had an account of his Person as God-man; his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, his twofold estate, to wit, of humiliation and exaltation; and the benefits which accrue to the church thereby. This church has also been considered as visible or invisible; and the former of these, as enjoying many pri. vileges which respect, more especially, the ordinary means of salvation.
We are now led to consider the benefits which the menabers of the invisible church, to wit, the whole number of the elect, who have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, their head, enjoy by him. And these are contained in two general heads; namely, union and communion with him in YOL. ITI,
grace and glory; which comprise in them the blessings of both worlds, as the result of their relation to, and interest in him. First, they are united to him, and then made partakers of his benefits. All grace imparted to us here, is the result thereof; as the apostle says, Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor. i. 30. And elsewhere our Saviour says, He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, John xv. 5. And the contrary hereunto is inconsistent with the exercise of any grace: Without me ye can do nothing
Moreover, that communion which the saints have with Christ in glory, whereby they who are brought to a state of perfection, participate of those graces and comforts which flow from their continued union with him; and the first fruits, or foretastes of glory, which they have in this world, are also founded on it. Thus the apostle calls Christ in his people, The hope of glory, Colos, i. 27. and speaking of his giving eternal life to them, he considers them as being in his hand, from whence none shall pluck them out, John X. 28. or separate them from him. So that they shall enjoy everlasting happiness with him, inasmuch as they shall be found in him, Phil. iii. 9. which leads us more particularly to consider,
What this union with Christ is.' The scripture often speaks of Christ's being, or abiding in his people, and they in him ; and assigns it as an evidence of their interest in the blessings he has purchased for them : and, indeed, it is from hence that all internal and practical godliness is derived.
This privilege argues infinite condescension in him, and tends to the highest advancement of those who are the subjects thereof, Now that we may understand what is intended thereby, let us take heed that we do not include in it any thing that tends to extenuate it on the one hand; or to exalt those who are made partakers of it above the station or condition into which they are brought thereby, on the other.
It is not sufficient to suppose that this union contains in it no more than that his people have the same kind of nature with him, as being made partakers of Aesh and blood; he having himself taken part of the same, Heb. ii. 14. He is indeed allied to us, as having all the essential perfections of our nature : and this was an instance of infinite condescension in him, and abolutely necessary to our redemption : nevertheless, this similitude of nature, abstracted from other considerations, accompanying or flowing from his incarnation, contains in it no other idea of union, between Christ and his people, than that which they have with one another; nor is it a privilege peculiar to believers, since Christ took on him the same human nature that